Hemp Seed Production
As states are preparing their hemp-cropping regulations, the excitement is growing. There is no doubt that hemp presents a new opportunity for growers to expand their cropping opportunities. If growing hemp is on your radar, just be sure you know exactly what you’re planting.
Wayne Gale is the chair of the American Seed Trade Association. He says he doesn’t know of any crop that has gone from zero-to-100 in a matter of just a few years. This has created a number of challenges, so they’re working to educate growers about where they can get seed, and what requirements to look for on the seed bag.
"With regards to THC content, and also feminized seed because the crop has to be totally female with no male. So, that’s an important part because if it has a higher male content it can destroy a crop," says Gale. "And, if it has a higher THC content it can destroy the crop."
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are present within the seed but are produced throughout the life cycle of the plant. So, the only way to test those final levels is through a crop grow-out. Gale says they’re advising the hemp seed production industry on best practices and procedures which includes breeding and variety names.
"So, what we’re trying to also do is give guidance to the industry about naming varieties, make sure that they’re unique according to the Federal Seed Act. You can’t rename a product or take the same seed and give it several names," he says. "And, we’re also trying to make sure that the purity and quality of the seed is somehow identified on the packaging."